A recent study has explored the links between the seaside, health and happiness. Researchers concluded that being by the sea can boost well being – highlighting some truth in the lyrics of the famous song “Oh we do like to be beside the seaside”.
In the 2 year study by the British Psychological Society, 2750 people were asked about their experiences of different environments including the seaside, the countryside and urban parks. Researchers noted that people found seaside environments to be the most pleasurable. Participants told researchers that being by the seaside made them feel ‘relaxed’, ‘refreshed’ and ‘invigorated’.
Recently, much has been said about the impact of happiness, relaxation and stress-avoidance on health. It is thought that the positive effects on wellbeing caused by going on regular seaside holidays can boost the immune system, prevent disease and possibly even help us to live longer.
The study doesn’t pinpoint exactly why being by the seaside makes us happier than any other place, but the researchers are now looking into possible explanations. It could be that we have an innate pleasure response to the sound of the sea or the way that light shines on water. Alternatively, the seaside may encourage us to recall happy memories from childhood holidays.
Some holidays are more relaxing than others and avoiding stress on holiday is bound to have positive effects on health. Many people travelling within Britain opt for coach holidays so they can avoid the pressure of driving long distances and the stress of finding a parking space in an unfamiliar town. Travelling by coach also allows people to interact more with others during the journey, which can be very pleasurable for some.
There are many ways that we can improve our general health wellbeing. And now it appears that we have an excuse to add a seaside holiday on to our diet and fitness plan!